I couldn’t sleep, partially because I was excited to start my trip and partially because I was having a hard time getting everything to fit in my backpack. This was odd because a couple of weeks prior I ‘test packed’ to see if I would be able to make it with a small backpack. Finally, at around 1 am, I had everything together and was ready to get a little bit of sleep.
It would be an early day. My flight from DFW to Tokyo was scheduled for 10am, but American recommended getting to the airport two hours ahead of time. On top of that, my plan was to take the TRE to the airport which also involves transferring to two different busses to actually get to the terminal.
If you’ve never taken the TRE to the airport, the way it works is that you get off the train at the DFW/Centerpoint station. At the station, there is are several bus parking stalls, the first one being the Remote South/TRE bus. This bus will take you to the remote south parking lot where you have to switch to one of three busses that will take you to your terminal. I’m not sure how long it took to get from the train station to Terminal D, but I seem to recall that the last time I did this, I spent about 20-30 minutes waiting at Remote South for the bus that would take me to the Terminal. Actually, I think the bus was already there, but the driver was on a lunch break or something. Either way, I wanted to make sure I had enough time, so I left pretty early. PS, the TRE does not run on Sunday!
My buddy Mat took me to the station in downtown Fort Worth, and time was a little tight – I still had to buy my ticket for the TRE. Of course, that didn’t go smoothly – each ticket machine seemed to have a particular issue of its own that resulted in failure to buy my ticket. The first one I tried gave false impression of usefulness by having a friendly greeting on the screen as if it was ready to help, but it was, in fact, not useful. The screen was more like a blank stare. So I tried the next machine that someone else had just vacated, but then had to wait for a minute for it to finish thanking the previous user. While I’m waiting the train had shown up and was impatiently waiting for all interested passengers to board. Since I was now in a hurry, I believe the machine sensed this and purposely slowed down its reactions time in an effort to amuse itself at my expense. I did finally get my ticket and rushed aboard the train.
I got to the airport with plenty of time to spare. I probably didn’t need to leave as early as I did, but then I would have certainly been cutting it much closer than I would be comfortable with since the next train was an hour later.
The airplane I would be flying in is a Boeing 777. I’m not sure when the last time I flew on a 777 was, but it seemed to me that this particular one may be an earlier model. Overall, its a very good plane, but this one was definately showing some age. The plastic parts looked a little discolored the way light colored plastic does after a few years.